The Colts may be leaning towards…keeping TY Hilton after all?
Now that the Indianapolis Colts have resolved their quarterback conundrum, the front office can turn their attention to the rest of the roster, which isn’t without its deficiencies.
In a perfect world, the Colts will use their $50 million in projected cap space on a clearcut No. 1 wide receiver, an established pass rusher, a touted cornerback and potentially another safety for depth purposes if there’s any leftover money.
Speaking strictly in terms of the WR position, there’s been concern among fans that re-signing veteran TY Hilton could sabotage the team’s efforts to bring in a proven superstar given how many other parts of the roster are in need of upgrades.
Well, it would appear that general manager Chris Ballard is prepared to confront that potential nuisance head on in the coming weeks.
After all, the latest buzz suggests that the Colts’ brass would like Hilton to finish his career in Indianapolis.
It sounds like the Colts’ braintrust wants TY Hilton back this offseason
"“It will play itself out,” head coach Frank Reich told reporters on Thursday. “But I’m not going to lie, the discussions we’ve had … I think we’re all hoping and optimistic that there is a way that TY can end his career as a Colt.”“He’s a special player, he means a lot to us as an organization, but we all understand that there is a business side to it that has to be right. It has to be right for TY. It has to be right for the Colts.”“I’m just hopeful that can play out,” Reich continued. “TY has been a great player here, he’s a leader on this team, and I hope the business side of that can get worked out to where he can end his career as a Colt.”"
If these comments don’t prove that the Colts are at least going to try to bring Hilton back, then nothing does.
After all, Reich waxing poetic about wanting the four-time Pro Bowler to finish his career in Indy now means that all three of him, Ballard and owner Jim Irsay have come out publicly to express their motivation to re-sign him this offseason.
That’s pretty telling, no?
While Hilton is clearly on the back nine of his career, he proved during the second half of 2020 that he has plenty left in the tank, registering 27 receptions for 435 yards (16.1 yards per) and five touchdowns over the final six weeks after being a non-factor through the first nine games.
As Zak Keefer of The Athletic noted in his tweet, there’s also something to be said for the value Hilton would provide as a veteran receiver in terms of helping new quarterback Carson Wentz rediscover his confidence. We all know how important the 31-year-old has been for locker room morale, and his presence could go a long way as far as ensuring everything runs smoothly.
Hilton returning to the Colts will obviously be contingent on what contract he’s offered — he’s been outspoken about wanting to ink a lucrative deal — but if the front office is able to avoid overpaying to keep him around, it goes without saying that the fan base would welcome the former third-round pick back with open arms.
This offseason’s wide receiver money shouldn’t be spent only on Hilton, but re-upping wouldn’t hurt anybody.